When you were growing up, were you taught (explicitly or implicitly) that anger is bad? Did you come to believe that you are a bad person if you get angry or that anger is never called for? If so, then you might not believe me when I say that anger actually has some positive aspects. Or perhaps you are relieved to hear this.
First of all, anger is an emotion like happiness or sadness. No emotion is purely “good” or “bad,” and this includes anger. Anger is rarely alone, by the way. If you looked underneath the anger, you will often find hurt or fear.
Our emotions serve as a source of information for us. What does anger tell you? I think of anger as a warning. It’s a flashing red light that says, “This isn’t right! This needs to change!” Anger is an activating emotion, giving you the strength to get out of a situation that isn’t good for you. Later, after you are in a safer or better situation, you may feel the accompanying emotions such as hurt. In the case of fear, anger can provide a sense of control in a scary or uncertain situation.
So the next time you find yourself stuffing your anger down, pause for a moment and ask yourself what information your anger is trying to give you. Are you hurt or are you fearful? Does something need to change? If you can identify the source of the anger and an action to address the situation, you might not need to stuff that anger down where it festers inside you.
Are you struggling with something? Give me a call or text at (816) 226-4678. Let’s make an appointment or set up a free 30-minute consultation so you can have the relief of knowing you are starting to address your issue.